Today I have been thinking a lot about description and bringing readers into the world we create as writers. I have been thinking about what I do as a writer to make my world alive and inviting for my reader. Here is a paragraph from my writing yesterday that I felt draws the reader in.
Last night was the first game of the playoffs for Sam’s baseball team. My son was pumped up! During dinner, he visualized all the what-ifs and the could be’s for the game. He has had a GREAT season. He continually makes plays at first and has become a hitter. He was right to expect good things. However, the first inning did not go as he had planned. He missed a wild throw from third to first and didn’t make the out. Later that same inning, the ball that was hit directly to him rolled between his legs and continued on to the outfield allowing the runner to get a double. Frustrating? Oh, yeah. At the end of the inning, he walked back to the dugout and wilted like a flower.
As I look at this piece of text, I notice several things I tried.
- I italicized and used all capital letters on important words so that the reader could emphasize that word while they were reading, and hear my voice “talking” to them
- I used specific actions so the reader could picture what the ball did in two various plays
- I used specific words from baseball so the reader could know exactly what I was talking about
- I made a comparison between how Sam looked with something a reader would be familiar with to allow my reader to visualize exactly what I was talking about
We call these types of moves “craft moves”. Today, look over a section or a piece of your writing. Identify places where your writing was effective and label what you did in that section. Can you create a list of craft moves from one of your own pieces of writing?